How to Build a Leadership Development Program - EmployeeConnect
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How to Build a Leadership Development Program

What is the first thing comes to mind when you hear the term “leadership development programs?” An expensive and time-consuming effort, right? But it doesn’t have to be if your goal is to improve the performance of your employees.

A key focus of any leadership development plan is to make employees more productive. With this in mind, any organization can try and implement multiple activities and tactics. Also, it requires little or no cost to boost workers’ engagement.

The future of leadership development is bright. According to a recent survey, 55% of CEOs cite developing the next generation of leaders as their greatest issue. This makes sense, given that 63% of millennials feel their companies aren’t completely developing them as leaders for management jobs.

Companies recognize the importance of developing leadership skills among employees. Let’s first discuss what exactly a leadership development program is.

What is a Leadership Development Program?

It is a structured program that helps people grow as leaders, managers, and team members. A leadership development program assists in developing leadership skills through training, mentoring and coaching. These programs provide a framework for identifying personal strengths and weaknesses, thus facilitating the discovery of their respective leadership styles.

The leadership development plans include understanding:

  • Leadership and its importance in organizations
  • The steps to becoming a leader
  • Leadership approaches
  • Types and traits of leadership
  • Leading people in different situations


Why does an Organization Needs Leadership Development Programs?

Let’s have a look at the importance of leadership development programs and why you should invest in leadership development programs. 

Boost Employee Engagement

An organization’s success depends on employee engagement. The impact of turnover on productivity levels and profitability is significant. The committed employee feels valued and appreciated by the organization.

Customer service will likely improve if employees are satisfied with their jobs. The central aim of any leadership development plan or program is to increase employee engagement due to its massive benefits.

Improved Performance and Productivity

A leader who has been through a well-designed leadership development program will typically be better equipped to lead their team, whether it’s in the office environment or on the job site. Research shows participants in leadership training showed a 20 percent overall boost in job performance.

Higher Employee Retention Rates

Employees who feel they have opportunities for advancement and growth within an organization will likely stay with it. They also tend to be happier at work. It leads to less turnover and more satisfied customers — win-win situations for any business administration!

Build Trust and Goodwill

Many employees feel disconnected from their leaders, which can negatively impact their engagement levels and performance at work. A high-quality leadership development plan can help create trust between leaders and employees.

It provides opportunities for them to learn from one another, share best practices and discuss challenges openly. Employees who feel their leaders/managers care about them will be more engaged in their work. They will lead to better business administration outcomes for everyone involved.

Increase Success in Navigating Change

Organizations must constantly change as they adapt to new technologies, shifting economic conditions, and other factors that affect their environment. Employees who feel confident in their ability to handle these changes will be more likely to remain with their company when they face challenges.

Improve Employees Communication

In a healthy work environment, communication is key to success. It enables employees to collaborate and exchange ideas to achieve common goals.

Leadership development programs help employees learn effective communication skills through role-playing activities and simulations. Such activities enable participants to practice real-life scenarios in a safe environment. Moreover, they learn from their mistakes and develop better ways to solve problems together as a team.

By doing so, they become more confident in communicating with other employees who may have different viewpoints than theirs. This improves employee engagement, leading to higher productivity levels and improved results for the company overall.

Helps in Developing Leadership Skills

Each person has their strengths and weaknesses. By attending leadership training, you can learn how other people have overcome challenges and become effective leaders. You will also learn from them what works for them and what does not work for them. This will help you develop an effective leadership style that suits your personality, strengths, and weaknesses.

Drive Strategy Execution

Strategic teams are more likely to achieve their results when they have leaders who know how to drive strategy execution. A leadership development plan teaches leaders how to implement their organization’s vision, mission, and values within their team.

They also teach them how to develop a plan for achieving those goals. They also ensure the team is on track with those plans.

Elements of Leadership Development Programs

For such programs to be effective, they must include certain elements:


Any effective leadership development program begins with coaching. Also, in problem-solving, coaching helps leaders build their skills, expertise, competencies, and knowledge. Coaching can be one-on-one or in groups.


Accountability is the idea that leaders are responsible for their actions, decisions, and behaviors. It can be established through regular check-ins with supervisors or mentors and clearly defined expectations and goals set by management.


Communication is a critical skill set for leaders, and communicating effectively with employees helps build team members’ trust, increasing employee engagement levels. Leaders should always communicate honestly and openly with employees to understand what is expected of them at work and why certain decisions are made by management.

Goals and Objectives

A leadership development program must have clear goals and objectives supported by the organization’s vision, mission, and values. These are important because they provide a clear direction for employees’ growth and development.


Management is a key factor in the success of any leadership development program because it establishes an environment where individuals can learn about their strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations. It also ensures that employees feel comfortable asking questions about leadership concepts and techniques and expressing their thoughts and concerns about the program.

Learning Methods

A leadership development program should include various learning methods such as lectures, group discussions, career development, case studies, role plays, leadership training, and simulations to engage participants’ minds during training sessions. Once they have completed the program, they can apply what they have learned in the workplace.

How to Build an Effective Leadership Development Program?

You may give your team the chance to get the skills necessary to advance within your company and advance in their careers by developing a leadership development program.

Additionally, these initiatives may improve staff morale and increase team productivity, innovation, and creativity. Further, it might help your staff members feel more invested in the company and comprehend how their efforts contribute to its success.

Numerous workplace wellness statistics show that employee recognition and encouragement have a significant positive impact on productivity.

Let’s discover how to handle it;

Define Organizational Needs Clearly

When developing a leadership development program, it is important to define organizational needs clearly and access all organizational goals. For example, working in a large corporation, you may need to focus on developing leaders who will help you achieve company-wide goals.

Working in a small company may be more beneficial to focus on improving individual employees’ performance instead of focusing on company-wide goals.

Align Training Needs with Organizational Goals

After identifying all the organizational goals and defining them clearly, align those goals with training needs for each employee in the organization.

An effective leadership development program needs to understand what training can help one employee reach their destination faster than others. What kind of skills do they need so that they can achieve their goals more quickly?

Once you answer these questions, aligning your training programs with organizational goals becomes easier.

Set Learning Goals for Each Employee or Group of Employees

After defining organizational needs clearly and aligning them with training needs, it’s time to set learning goals for employees in the organization. Ensure that these learning goals are specific and measurable to be easy to track and monitor over time.

It’s also important to create a timeline. This way, everyone knows when they will complete their required training courses or any other learning activity like coaching sessions.

Focus on Development, Not Training

A crucial step in a leadership development program is to decide what you want to achieve. Do you need to determine what skills you’d like your leaders to develop? Also, how they’ll create them and when they’ll be ready for promotion or other opportunities within the company.

The most effective approach is to focus on developing leaders instead of training them. This means teaching them how to solve problems as opposed to giving them a list of answers or instructions.

Provide All the Tools Involved in Learning

One common misconception about leadership development programs is that they only involve classroom learning or workshops. While these are important components of any program, there are many other elements involved:

  • Coaching sessions
  • One-on-one conversations
  • Group discussions
  • Mentoring relationships

These are just a few examples of what you might use as part of your strategy for developing leaders within your organization.

Measure Results

Once you’ve defined the important outcomes for your organization, it’s time to start measuring how well your efforts are working. What do employees think about their experiences in the leadership development program? How does it compare with other programs offered by other companies in similar industries?


A leadership development program is crucial for the ability of a company to thrive and grow. By investing in their success, companies build teams capable of handling unforeseen situations and coming out stronger on the other side.

Employeeconnect provides a solution that fits you best to manage your workforce with flexibility and control. Connect with us today and get started with the creation of an effective leadership development program.



In the world of HR software, EmployeeConnect continues to be one of the leading industry providers of innovative solutions. We helps Australia business owners and people managers be more efficient, cost-effective and compliant by taking the hassle out of HR and payroll admin. If you spend more than an hour every day on HR administration (like on/off-boarding, performance review, or employee timesheets), then EmployeeConnect is here for you.

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Byron Conway

Content Coordinator at EmployeeConnect